Sometimes good dental hygiene routine and regular trips to the dentist aren’t enough to keep your child safe. While they are indeed still imperative to maintaining good oral health, without the right follow up, you might see the same problem repeatedly.
One way you could help your young one keep his dental health is by fortifying his diet. We discussed in a previous post that what an average American eats is often replete with sugars, carbohydrates, and other compounds that help bacteria thrive, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. While you can remedy this with a proper toothbrushing, repeated exposure could wear your teeth over time.
That said, what can you do to ensure that your child is eating the right food for their teeth? Here are a few suggestions.
Cut down their sugar intake
Sometimes the best solutions lay right in front of you. Because the harmful bacteria on your teeth thrive off sugar, the best way to make sure that your child’s diet is safe for their teeth is to cut down as much of it as possible. But while sound in theory, it’s not always the most convenient thing to do in practice.
This doesn’t mean it’s a fruitless endeavor altogether, however. Fortunately, cutting down sugar can be a little more enjoyable for your child:
- Look for healthier substitutes. While you can’t escape sugar forever, there are some sources of sugar which are more robust than others. Eating fruits, for instance, contains less sugar than if you down a jar of gummy worms. And if your child gets their sugar from whole food sources—such as apples and nuts—they also get all the other nutrients they offer.
- Eat dessert with your meals. When the cravings get too tough to handle, another way is to let them eat their sweets after meals. Saliva plays a crucial role in this—aside from aiding in digestion, it also washes away the traces of food away from the teeth. Because our mouths after a meal are more active in saliva production, you’ll most likely get less sugar on your teeth after eating.
Moderation and food choice is key
Aside from cutting down the amount of sugar your child consumes, another thing you can do is regulate what they eat in general. This regulation extends to not only the number of times they eat, but also what they eat. Here are a few examples:
- Eat saliva-friendly food. As mentioned, saliva is a powerful tool against any lingering sugars, so the more you eat saliva-friendly food, the less sugar you leave on your teeth. Good news for you, cheese lovers—certain cheese types can prompt salivation.
- No snacks. The more you snack matters more than how much you eat per bite since it decreases the time needed for your saliva to wash away the food particles. Try to restrict snack time to twice a day at most.
- Get more calcium. Finally, what you could do to ensure your child’s diet is dental-friendly is to look for vitamins and minerals that feed their teeth. Calcium, in particular, helps strengthen teeth against bacterial attacks, so feel free to pepper your child’s lunches with calcium-heavy meals.